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When it comes to music, the songwriter is the key to unlocking the message behind a song. The same is true for Lynyrd Skynyrd, since so many of their songs contain a deeper message that fans have to do a little searching to find.
One such song is a track off of their 2012 album Last of a Dyin’ Breed, called “Something to Live For.” At first glance the song seems like it is about a group of people experiencing hard times that simply wants some happiness in life. Although this view of the song isn’t incorrect, during a behind the scenes interview two of the song’s co-writers, Rickey Medlocke and Johnny Van Zant, uncovered the deeper meaning behind it.
Just like now, 2012 was an election year, and all of the politics got the band members thinking about how the American people were in need of a little hope from their leaders. “We’ve seen in the last several years how things have changed,” said Rickey, “and I think people, a lot of people, I believe, are walking around with nothing to live for.“
Johnny went a bit more in-depth with his explanation behind the meaning of the song, saying that instead of being all talk and no action, America needs leaders who will do something to help strengthen the American spirit.
“We’re in an election year and all the politicians preaching, saying they’re going to this and do that, and most of the time they do nothing. So it’s just about the good people, the people that made this great country of ours, who work hard and try to keep it going. But it’s a hard time for America, so we need you politicians to stand up and do the right thing for us common folk.”
Knowing the deeper meaning behind the song makes us realize the relevance it has to our current lives. As seems to be the case with Skynyrd, their songs and the messages they convey are simply timeless.
You can watch the full interview about the meaning behind “Something to Live For” below.